I had a rendezvous with one of the leaders of the Chinese group, so I took the bus to Pessac Centre and hopped on the tram for Unitec. As I waited for the tram to leave an elderly lady arrived and fumbled with the door. To open the door there's a big button that flashes, but the lady couldn't manage this. There was obviously some problem. The driver pushed the big flashing button.
Where do you go ?
To Bordeaux. Where do you want to go ?
I don't know.
Well where have you come from ?
I don't know.
A series of questions established that the lady really didn't know anything at all, including her own name or address. By now there were four of us trying to help. The driver spoke to his control office. The lady's phone rang. After some negotiation I spoke to the person on the other end. It was hard to hear them but they told us they'd meet us at Forum.
I accompanied the lady to Forum, told the driver I would stay with her till someone arrived, then we waited.
It was cold. Very cold. She was shivering. I tried ringing the number that had called her and got a receptionist. A tram came. The lady got on it. OH NO ! I got on too.
By now I didn't know what alternative I had, so I called the emergency services. They told me to get her off the tram and they would come, so we got off at St Genes.
Her phone rang again. I said we're at St Genes and the pompiers are on their way.
Whatever you do don't hand her over to the pompiers or it will take us hours to get her back.
Listen, she's elderly, lost and cold. Whoever comes first I will hand her to!
The pompiers came first, but could not take charge of her because she was not physically ill.
But they stayed with us till someone arrived. I was very reassured.
They asked to see her identity card. She wasn't willing to give it to them.
We tried every way possible to persuade her, but no.
Eventually her son arrived, very relieved to find her and very grateful that we had taken care of her.
She gave me a big smile and squeezed my hand warmly before going off with her son.
I got to my rendezvous an hour late, but my Chinese friends didn't mind and we had a good discussion together.